What AI Advances Mean for Creators & the Creative Process

How AI will improve productivity and enhance opportunities for creative expression

What AI Advances Mean for Creators & the Creative Process

Creativity and creative problem-solving skills are paramount in a world shifting rapidly to machine learning. With the rise of AI, there is much chatter and concern that jobs will be taken over by machines in a variety of industries. However, creativity is a realm where machine intelligence is least likely to replace humans. There are many ways technology can and will impact creativity, but there is an advantage creativity has over machine intelligence: creativity is innately human. That said, AI can and ultimately will help us optimize the creative process.

According to a recent study commissioned by Adobe across the U.S., UK, Germany and Japan, most creative professionals are looking forward to AI giving them more time back to be creative. Christoph Gey, an art director in Cologne who participated in the study, explained that ”[p]ersonal creativity cannot be imitated by technology. It’s not because you know the tools that you are a designer.” Rather, there is an underlying fear that technology, particularly AI, could result in the homogenization of creativity.

Image source: The Pfeiffer Report

As with everything in life, striking the right balance provides the answer. I see a world where AI will optimize the creative process from start to finish by streamlining content output and unlocking new mediums and functionality. Interestingly, creators agree! They see AI as taking over tedious tasks to boost their creativity! They hope AI will take over the execution of time-consuming and mundane tasks required to execute an idea. I concur with this belief. I expect AI to help free up creators to spend more time ideating around creative problem solving and design thinking.

Putting AI to work in the creative process

Shockingly, 74% of creative professionals surveyed noted that they spend more than half their time on tedious and uncreative tasks. AI can afford creators the time to do what they are inherently good at and what they are valued for: creative thinking! Tim Probert, Art Director at Aardman Nathan Love, outlined the tedious tasks that AI could handle. “The most tedious parts of my work are all the manual, repetitive tasks, like naming 100 layers in Photoshop, exporting multiple elements to lots of different formats, and managing assets in general.” In fact, most of the creatives surveyed (62%) believe AI and machine learning will be very important to them. This is why we are making Adobe Sensei – our AI and machine learning technology – one of our big bets for the future. Today there are dozens of Sensei-powered capabilities available across Adobe Creative Cloud, Document Cloud and Experience Cloud that help creators develop, deliver and optimize smarter, more efficient experiences faster by freeing them to focus on what matters most.

Image source: The Pfeiffer Report.

How AI can make new creative mediums more approachable

Finally, for many designers, the barrier to creation comes not from lack of inspiration, but rather the absence of tools or know-how to bring an idea to fruition. Making sure creators have access to the right kind of technology will unlock those tools and processes, resulting in even more engaging, personalized experiences for the end consumer.

More than 75% of creators surveyed noted that their work has become more complex over the past few years, but more than two-thirds also feel that their creative possibilities have increased. This illuminates a collective push forward into new creative realms, both from clients who are seeking fresh new ideas and creators who are seeking tools that will allow them to deliver. Indeed, when asked what kind of creative work they would like to do if it were easier, 43% of respondents in the U.S. cited motion graphics; 43% in Europe cited 3D modeling and animation; and 55% of Japanese respondents cited 3D and motion graphics. In each of these mediums, AI and machine learning can significantly enhance the experience and can help make high-quality results possible.

For example, Adobe CTO Abhay Parasnis says AR “has the potential to transform and completely reimagine customer experiences.” However, AR content creation tools that exist today require advanced technological skills that many designers don’t have. On the other hand, simple drag and drop AR tools in the market don’t afford the level of design sophistication that a designer or artist requires. To bridge this gap, at Adobe MAX this year, Adobe announced the private beta of Project Aero, our new cross-device AR authoring tool. Project Aero, powered by Adobe Sensei, enables creators to design realistic background lighting and perspective, enabling the experience in a way that is intuitive and natural. At its core, Project Aero is part of Adobe’s mission to democratize the creation of immersive content, and is representative of the kind of new possibilities that can be unlocked for creators by technology.

How can educators prepare the next generation for an AI-driven world? Teach creativity!

I am incredibly optimistic about the ways AI and machine learning can help creators keep up with the ever-increasing content velocity demands to produce faster. But in order to afford every creator the opportunity to master new mediums and new forms of creative expression, we must not forget that learning to be creative starts at a young age. It is critical for educators to cultivate creative problem-solving skills and creative expression in the classroom to ensure the next generation’s long-term career success. However, creative problem-solving is not emphasized enough in schools today. Nearly 70% of educators and 61% of policymakers and influencers say today’s curricula does not place enough emphasis on creative problem solving, according to Adobe’s Creative Problem-Solving study released earlier this year. Fostering these uniquely human skills will best position future creators to focus on their personal creativity, bold new ideas and better client collaboration – which is a big win for everyone.

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